Whether you are watching a cute makeup tutorial, jogging along a workout video, or procrastinating by learning the best ways to study, you are bound to come across an ad with “the best acne cream” and a series of before and afters. The real question is, what are easy, cost-efficient ways of getting rid of acne?
Looking in the mirror, I know every time one pimple starts to go away, others appear in its place — a never ending battle. Searching for treatments for acne are not just cosmetic. Acne can be very painful when severe, can lead to permanent scarring, and can cause emotional distress. The first steps are to understand that you are not alone, and identify the cause of your acne.
Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., frequently found on the face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders because these areas have the most oil glands. Various types of acne include whiteheads (closed clogged pores), blackheads (open clogged pores), papules (small red bumps), and pimples (papules with pus at the tips). Acne can appear at any age, but is common in teenagers due to hormonal changes. Females and people using medications that contain corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium are more susceptible to acne due to hormonal changes as well.
Causes of acne include excess oil production, hair follicles being clogged by oil and dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess activity of androgens (a male steroid hormone). Acne can also be aggravated by excess carbs (like your college bagel and chips diet), chocolate (like your go-to exam season stress-snack) and chronic stress (because stress hormones send oil glands into overdrive)! Additionally, constant contact with dirty phones, tight helmets or rough backpacks can also aggravate the skin and cause acne. Finally, the one cause that nobody likes to hear — genetics. Just like your blue eyes or brown hair, family history does influence whether or not you’re prone to acne.
So what can we do to get rid of acne and prevent further breakouts?
- Try to clean your skin with mild, oil-free soap to remove excess oil and dirt. (Do NOT scrub your skin, as this will aggravate the acne areas. Be gentle.)
- Shampoo your hair regularly and keep it out of your face. Bangs may cover the acne, but it will make it worse!
- Do not touch, squeeze or pick at the pimples, because this will allow bacteria to spread and oils to seep in. You are not Dr. Pimple Popper!
- Avoid makeup that contains oil.
- Wash your pillowcases and anything that touches the acne-prone skin.
- Remove makeup and clean your skin before bed. Do not recycle your late night look for the next morning, your skin will thank you for it!
- Shower after you exercise, there are other ways to glow!
- Eat a healthy diet (minimize refined sugar and avoid excess carbohydrates).
So now you know the main causes, preventions, and treatments for acne. If you have acne-prone skin, be sure to practice proper skin care techniques! Take a few minutes out of your busy day to follow these tips, so you can skip those acne cream ads with ease.
Featured Image: Gabriella Cetrulo
Leave a Reply